Sunday, October 13, 2013


Creek Monument
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

They say that plants don't talk, nor do
     brooks or birds,
nor the wave with its chatter, nor stars
     with their shine.
They say it but it's not true, for whenever
     I walk by
they whisper and yell about me
                   "There goes the crazy woman dreaming
of life's endless spring and of fields
and soon, very soon, her hair
     will be gray.
She sees the shaking, terrified frost
     cover the meadow."
There are gray hairs in my head; there is frost
     on the meadows,
but I go on dreaming—a poor, incurable
of life's endless spring that is receding
and the perennial freshness of fields
     and souls,
although fields dry and souls burn up.
Stars and brooks and flowers!  Don't gossip about
     my dreams:
without them how could I admire you?  How could
     I live?

—Rosalía de Castro, Spain, 1835-1887

(trans. from the Spanish by Aliki and Willis Barnstone)